Strengthening Marriage course transforms relationships in West Africa

Couples in Lome, Togo, take part in class from Family Services

After Folly and Pierette Mikpeayevo of Lome, Togo, participated together in a Strengthening Marriage course from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they said they were delighted to have taken part.

“I believe that you are never finished learning, and I learned a lot in this class,” Folly Mikpeayevo said.

He said young couples should know that their best bet is to follow the simple yet significant recommendations given by the Strengthening Marriage course.

The Mikpeayevos were one of 27 couples from the Lome Togo Agoe Stake who recently became the first in the West African country to take the class. The couples attended weekly sessions over a two-month period.

Subjects included applying the principles of the gospel in marriage, promoting equality and unity, communicating with love, overcoming anger, resolving conflict and enriching marriages.

The Strengthening Marriage and Strengthening the Family courses can help couples enrich their marriage relationship and improve their skills in parenting. Manuals can be ordered by ward or branch — or a PDF version of each can be found online by searching for the course name. The resources are available in several languages, including French, the official language of Togo.

The course for the Lome Togo Agoe Stake was supported by the Church’s Welfare and Self-Reliance department in the Africa West Area and led by Family Services Manager Tamara Esi Dadson.

“I am so grateful to these couples who have set such a great example for all those who are married in West Africa,” Dadson said. “By completing this program they have drawn closer to their Heavenly Father by drawing closer to each other.”

A couple receives a completion certificate from Family Services in Lome, Togo.
Tamara Esi Dadson, left, Family Services manager in the Africa West Area, presents Amive Felicite Amehouenou and Lome Togo Agoe Stake President Komlan E. Amehouenou with a completion certificate for the Strengthen Marriage class in Lome, Togo, on Feb. 17, 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On Feb. 17, Dadson presented completion certificates to the couples at a special evening that included music and dancing.

Edwige Fafa, who took the class with her husband, shared what she learned.

“It’s not our honor on this earth or the material possessions we’ve accumulated that will be at stake in the last days, but how we’ve behaved as a family,” Fafa said. “We believe that the programs of this Church are designed for our happiness as a family, and we don’t want to miss the opportunity to take advantage of it.”

Carine Kafui Messeko said marriage is “a quest for good,” and something that couples must seek together.

“We need to continue practicing the good gestures that brought us together from the very first days we met and during our outings as couples when we were young adults on our own,” Messeko said.

The Church of Jesus Christ in the Africa West Area has worked to strengthen families and marriages as a way of strengthening the communities it serves, explained a news release from the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

In June 2023, the Church sponsored a Strengthening Families Conference in Abuja, Nigeria. More than 4,000 people attended the conference with tens of thousands more participating virtually.

Pierette Mikpeayevo and Folly Mikpeayevo take a picture in front of a heart backdrop at the end of a Strengthening Marriage class in Lome, Togo.
Pierette Mikpeayevo and Folly Mikpeayevo take part in a celebration at the end of a Strengthening Marriage class in Lome, Togo, on Feb. 17, 2024. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Lome Togo Agoe Stake President Komlan E. Amehouenou explained why such conferences, classes and efforts are so important.

“In these times when there are attacks on marriage from many adversaries, it is necessary for us to gain knowledge to counter the attacks on this God ordained institution,” said President Amehouenou. “We plan on doing this every year, to set an example for our rising generation of the importance of marriage.”

The Church’s resources for strengthening marriages and families can be found at

The Church’s Emotional Resilience course — now in 30 languages — is another resource from Family Services with guiding principles that can improve people’s lives as well.

Other resources from Family Services are at

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